Review: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software

Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware software, while a relative newcomer and lesser known than many other brands, is quickly becoming the weapon of choice for many technology professionals in their war against malware threats.

Adware, spyware and other malware threats are the bane of IT administrators, whether managing small business or medium-scale networks. Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware software, while a relative newcomer and lesser known than many other brands, is quickly becoming the weapon of choice for many technology professionals in their war against malware threats. Why? Its detection and removal rates are outstanding.


  • Manufacturer: Malwarebytes Corporation
  • Product: Anti-Malware
  • Version: 1.34
  • File Size: 2.74 MB
  • Operating systems: Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, Vista (32-bit only)
  • Languages: English, Albanian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Macedonian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian.
  • Download:
  • Price: $24.95 (corporate licensing available)
  • Additional company information
  • Check out the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware TechRepublic Photo Gallery

Who's it for?

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware targets any and all Windows users whose desktop computers are connected to the Internet. Small business technicians, corporate IT staff, IT consultants and other computer professionals will all find Malwarebytes Anti-Malware's detection spyware detection engine and removal capabilities very effective.

Even organizations with gateway-based security services will find Malwarebytes Anti-Malware an affordable investment that helps ensure business systems (especially mobile PCs that travel outside the gateway-protected office) steer clear of troublesome, time-wasting, productivity-robbing spyware infections.

What problem does it solve?

Spyware infections are increasing at unprecedented rates. The unwanted software, usually installed without the user's knowledge, typically monitors user behavior, collects personal, business and sensitive information, cripples system performance and often changes critical computer settings.

Infonetics Research distributed a report (Costs of Network Security Attacks) in 2007 that revealed 40 percent of small and medium-sized businesses' security downtime costs were attributable to spyware. Worse, Gartner Group (at its 2006 IT Summit) estimated 20 percent to 50 percent of companies will become infected with spyware.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software provides an effective solution for both preventing and removing spyware infections from business systems. The application excels at detecting and removing a wide variety of malware, including worms, Trojans, dialers and other forms of spyware.

Unlike many antimalware programs that often miss common infections, require extensive periods to complete scans, often scan only the main root drive, place too heavy a burden on system resources or fail to offer active protection, Malwarebyte's solution delivers the choice of fast, quick scans and possesses impressive detection rates. Further, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware can clean specific drives, uses minimal system resources and includes a licensed version that delivers active (real-time) protection.

Standout features

  • Thorough detection and elimination - Based on experiences detecting and removing active spyware infections on numerous PCs (including on systems running current and up-to-date versions of Norton, McAfee and Trend Micro security products), Malwarebytes Anti-Malware frequently identifies and quarantines or removes active spyware, adware, Trojan and other infections leading programs miss or fail to clean. Malwarebytes' removal rate is particularly effective due to the software's superior heuristic scanning technology and ability to mark locked files as infectious and delete them upon rebooting (thereby circumventing removal issues that often plague other Windows-based antimalware programs). The program also includes a standalone FileASSASSIN utility for removing locked files.
  • Customizable scans - Some antispyware tools don't allow customizing scans; for example, when slaving hard disks to a test system, scanning disks other than the main root (or C) drive isn't possible. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware provides the ability to specify whichever drive requires attention.
  • Real time protection - Unlike some antispyware programs, licensed versions of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware provide active, live protection against threats. Rather than waiting to detect and remove infections whenever a scan is launched, Malwarebyte's licensed product provides constant protection against malware threats.
  • Affordable pricing - Individual desktop licenses are reasonably priced (less than $25 a copy). Corporate licensing extends heavy discounts to business users, while consultants, nonprofits, and repair professionals receive significant discounts, as well.
  • Light footprint - Security software is often maligned for the amount of resources (specifically, RAM and CPU) consumed protecting desktop systems. Malwarebytes engineers have done well creating a very effective detection engine that uses few system resources. Active protection typically consumes less than 15MB of RAM and negligent CPU cycles, a very small price to pay, considering numerous spyware infections simply render systems useless.

What's wrong?

  • No 64-bit protection - Malwarebytes is yet to release a 64-bit compatible version of their Anti-Malware software for Vista users. As 64-bit platforms grow in popularity, adding a 64-bit-compatible application to the arsenal will help computer techs effectively protect those Windows boxes.
  • No server-side administration tool - Although command line support is available for quick scanning, which will help many network administrators pressed for time, large enterprises will find Malwarebyte's lack of server-side or centralized administration tools a deal breaker. For now, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is probably best deployed within organizations possessing less than 40 or 50 desktops.

Competitive Products

Bottom line for business

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware may be a relative newcomer, but the company's antispyware software has quickly become a favorite of technology consultants and network administrators. The software's advanced detection engine and effective removal capabilities help administrators dedicate time to other critical tasks. Priced reasonably, the licensed application uses few system resources, enables scheduled scans and updates, supports live protection and delivers detailed reporting, all of which helps businesses avoid common and expensive spyware infections without slowing them down.

User rating

Do you have experience with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware? If so, what do you think? Rate the product below and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware in Comments or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.


Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

Editor's Picks